The Curmudgeon


Monday, February 08, 2010

Playing at War

The No Longer Nasty Party's former spokesbeing for muscular Christianity has been bringing moral succour to the over-stretched and ill-equipped personnel of Britain's armed forces by likening the business of killing and/or being killed to a football game. "We need to decide if we want to stay in the first division or slide into the second division," he said, doubtless hoping to call to his listeners' minds the Conservative Party's Argie-bashing glory days of old. Anyway, Dr Fox gave the obligatory promise of tough decisions ruthlessly taken, and made generous provision for the deductive powers of the military mind by noting explicitly that there would be winners and losers at the end of the process. Daveybloke's Cuddly Conservatives intend to "look beyond defence in the traditional sense" of killing fuzzy-wuzzies by the cubic yard; possibly they still intend bringing back National Service and establishing a nice smooth pipeline to pump human resources from the faith schools of the Church Militant into the armed forces, or possibly Dr Fox was just blathering, as Daveybloke's Cuddly Conservatives so often seem to do. Then again, given Dr Fox's apparent idea that Britain should be the military equal, rather than the military vassal, of the United States, perhaps Daveybloke's Cuddly Conscripts merely intend putting the country in a time machine and taking it back to 1913 or thereabouts. Dr Fox dismissed Britain's international obligations with a wave of his hand: "We cannot accept the assumption ... that Britain will always operate as part of an alliance" because "we have unique national interests and have to maintain the capability to act unilaterally if required", in a way that lesser breeds self-evidently must not. It is not clear to me whether this means Daveybloke's Cuddly Conservatives plan to withdraw from NATO and either hook up with Latvia's Waffen-SS veterans or else Go It Alone; quite possibly it is not clear to Daveybloke's Cuddly Conservatives either. Dr Fox also promised a "clean break from the legacy and mindset of the cold war", now that the former USSR is being run by the sort of gangster an Englishman can do business with. Again, Dr Fox does not seem to have backed up this rhetoric with anything so un-British as an actual policy, such as doing away with the nuclear deterrent which has proven so tragically ineffective at deterring the mad mullahs of Mesopotamia; but then again, perhaps Dr Fox was just blathering, as Daveybloke's Cuddly Conservatives so often seem to do.


  • At 8:04 pm , Anonymous Madame X said...

    So what's defense in the modern sense if traditional is out? Or is he talking about the synthetic organisms the Pentagon wants to grow to replace human soldiers?

  • At 9:10 pm , Blogger Philip said...

    I doubt if Fox is sufficiently au fait with the twentieth century, let alone the present one, for the possibilities of synthetic organisms to have obtruded themselves on his consciousness (I could have told him, but did he listen? No he did not). More likely he just means privatising the armed services, since (a) that is what the Conservative Party almost invariably means by "reform", "change", "radical change", "tough" etc., etc., and (b) there's precious little else left to privatise.

  • At 8:49 am , Blogger phil said...

    I bet the French are nervous.

    WV: 'cilled' - what soldiers do to people by using softer bullets.

  • At 6:50 pm , Anonymous Madame X said...

    Privatizing the army seems to me to be an invitation to insurrection.

  • At 6:55 pm , Blogger Philip said...

    There was a time when privatising the NHS would have seemed a provocation of sorts; yet here we are.


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